In some cases, repairing a faucet can be a challenge. Whether the challenge arises due to hard-to-reach parts or a stubborn lock nut, a simple repair can quickly become a complicated task. So, you’ll probably start looking for an alternative solution when this happens, and you might even reach for WD-40.
Although using WD-40 on a stuck lock nut or another exterior part makes sense, why would you use it inside a faucet? Let’s find out!
What Is The Purpose Of WD-40?
WD-40 is a multi-use product that is ideal for various scenarios. Generally, mold folks use it for protecting metal from rust and corrosion, displacing moisture, lubrication, and loosening stuck parts. In the world of faucets, we commonly see WD-40 used as a lubricant to help loosen stubborn screws and nuts.
It’s a very versatile product and safe for use on dozens of materials, so many folks have it on hand (especially if they work on cars).
Can You Use WD-40 On Faucets?
Although there are a few scenarios where WD-40 isn’t the most suitable pick (locks, electronics, etc.), you can safely use it on faucets. Most faucets feature a metal base material (usually brass or stainless steel) and solid metal plating, so damage via WD-40 isn’t a concern.
Why Would You Use WD-40 Inside A Faucet?
While using WD-40 on a faucet’s exterior makes sense, some folks recommend using it inside the faucet. But why would you spray WD-40 inside a faucet? There are a couple of reasons behind doing this, including the following:
Remove Mineral Deposits
Unfortunately, hard water is a widespread issue that can wreak havoc on the fixtures and appliances throughout your home. The deposits may build up, leading to various problems. These deposits can build up in the cartridge, diverter valve, and aerator in a faucet.
When deposits affect the diverter, they may affect its ability to switch between sprays. When this occurs in a faucet cartridge, leaks may begin to occur, but in some cases, the handles might become stiff and hard to turn. Or, if the buildup in the aerator, water might exit the faucet at a mere trickle.
To correct the problem, many DIYers use WD-40, as it can easily reach areas within the faucet. For example, reaching the diverter can be a headache. While you can easily access the faucet aerator (for the most part) and the cartridge, the diverter can be a bit of a challenge.
So, to make things easier for you, use a bottle of WD-40 fitted with a spray nozzle or straw for a more manageable application.
Loosen Stuck Parts
Let’s say you’re working on fixing your faucet because the handle is stiff, or you need to remove the cartridge (maybe it’s not working as it should, so the faucet is leaking). However, as you’re working through the project, you find that the set screw is stuck. So, now, your project halts in its tracks before you get anywhere.
Before you throw in the towel, you might want to try WD-40. Sometimes, a little bit of lubricant is all you need to loosen that stubborn screw. Simply spray the oil into the hole where the set screw sits, then give it a few minutes to soak. After a couple of minutes, try removing the screw again.
Will WD-40 Contaminate The Tap Water?
As you’re considering spraying WD-40 inside your faucet to correct the issue (whatever it might be), you might ask yourself, “Will it contaminate the water from that faucet?” This is a great question, as a contaminated water supply can be problematic, especially with a kitchen faucet.
Luckily, there’s no need to worry – WD-40 is safe for plumbing. After using the lubricant to correct the problem, you can cleanse the area with water, as it easily evaporates with water.
That said, don’t use excessive amounts of WD-40 on the faucet – only use as much as you need. Using liberal amounts of lubricant will only make a mess, so save yourself the trouble and use the bare minimum.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is WD-40 Safe For The Skin?
When using WD-40 for various projects, there’s a good chance it’ll come into contact with your skin as you work. While you shouldn’t intentionally spray the solution on your skin, it shouldn’t cause significant side effects if you get small amounts on your body.
The company states that the solution can cause mild to moderate skin irritation with short-term exposure. You might notice itchiness, burning, and redness if you have sensitive skin. Since these aren’t desired outcomes, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water immediately after direct skin contact.
As you work, it doesn’t hurt to use gloves to protect your skin from the WD-40. However, since this can make it tricky to work (especially when you mix rubber gloves with lubricant), you might find it easier to forego the gloves and use a rag as a barrier between you and the lubricant.
For example, if you’re loosening a stuck retaining nut with WD-40, place a rag around the nut when you’re ready to turn it. Not only will it help protect your hands from the lubricant, but it will also help avoid damaging the nut as you force it to turn.
Will WD-40 Stain Clothes?
Oops, you were using WD-40 for your project and accidentally got some on your clothes. As far as you can tell, it didn’t look like it was going to stain, but as it dries, you begin to notice a dark spot forming.
So, will the solution actually stain your clothes? Unfortunately, yes, WD-40 can stain clothing. That said, you can remove an oil-based stain like WD-40 with dish soap and hot water. Using hot, soapy water should help break down the oil, allowing you to remove the offending stain from your clothes.